One of my pet peeves with some customers is when people complain about price without considering what they are getting.

At SmartSurvey, we have various plans that could run from a basic free account, through a professional account at £30 per month and then up to as much as 10s of thousands with additional features, support and custom development work. 10s of thousands sounds like a lot except….almost every employee you have is costing you that.

That’s right, in the UK, even a relatively low paid employee on the national average wage of just over £26,000 will cost the employer more in national insurance and pension contributions, not to mention office costs of probably £30,000+ and this is not a high-skilled salary, not management.

So even on the most expensive of our plans with a load of add-ons, it will cost around the same as 1 employee.

So what does this 1 virtual employee do? It can unlimited surveys to unlimited recipients, possibly 100s of 1000s or millions over the case of the year. It can get their results back and tabulate it into results with graphs that can be downloaded and added to documents or exported in ready-to-view “views” that can be sent to stakeholders.

Imagine you were not using an online survey tool. What would you do instead to even process, say, 10 surveys to 1000 people each? The stamps would cost you the best part of £10,000 alone. Stationary, another few thousand, printer ink, a few hundred. You would then need to employ someone just to send out and process the returns, even if you had some clever page reader machine. Already you have probably exceeded both the cost and the efficiency of an online tool.

So why complain?

People complain because they consider software to be a cheap product and often they don’t understand how complex and expensive it is to run a SaaS business. The money doesn’t just cover some web application but the staff, the development, the hosting, the backups, the resilient architecture, the compliance costs.